CEC Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Ling Wang

Committee Member

Easwar Nyshadham

Committee Member

John A. Scigliano

Abstract

IT/IS Offshore outsourcing is defined as a commercial arrangement of transferring local ITIIS functions, assets, activities, products and services to a foreign contractor therefore removing new employment positions, replacing or displacing U.S. domestic IT/IS workers with those from other countries for financial or competitive advantage of the outsourcing client. This process of offshore outsourcing to overseas locations was perceived to have consequences on IT/IS student enrolment at U.S. universities.

The objective of this study was to identify administrators' responses to reduced IT/IS student enrolments. The majority of ITIIS college administrators have concerns about offshore outsourcing, and is perceived to reduce student enrolments. Ninety-five percent of the universities experienced enrolment declines after the year 2000. The dotcom bubble burst, offshore outsourcing and media talk on lost jobs were the perceived main causes. Some universities have taken remedial steps; marketing IT/IS to high school students, getting the IT industry involved, and seeking government funding.

The research questions for this study include: What are the concerns in U.S. universities due to IT/IS offshore outsourcing, in relation to interest and enrolment by students in IT/IS programs? What are the prevailing consequences of ITIIS offshore outsourcing on undergraduate training for IT/IS programs? What are the specific changes in ITIIS university programs that can be attributed to ITIIS offshore outsourcing? This study was conducted by running interviews with college administrators (Dean or Head of Department) in U.S. Universities. A total of twenty randomly selected universities voluntarily participated in this research. The interview transcripts were validated for content with the respondents through email feedback.

The following are recommended actions; implementing curriculum reviews, redefining departmental marketing strategies for new students, advocating for government funding, advertisements in news media, and seeking IT industry plus professional organizations' assistance. It is recommended that IT/IS training be focused on offshore-proof skills. Some of the training skills include: bio-informatics, nano-technology, double majors, offshore business management, teamwork participation, forensic technology, security, and data mining. According to the department of labor and statistics, the projected job growth for IT/IS careers is excellent. Universities can leverage on this message and promote student interest

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